After discussing it with Danny and him calling me out on eating Korean instant ramyun instead of Japanese instant ramen, I thought I would bring the discussion here.
Nongshim's Shin Ramyun is my favourite instant noodle. It has a strong spicy flavour, along with a nice vegetable mix, and the noodles themselves are a bit chewy and thick. This gives them a nice texture and volume compared to the stronger soup base. The packages themselves are 120g which makes them decently large and filling, whereas most other brands I've found myself needing two packages to fill myself. The strong soup base helps with that too though. I also find it easier to add more things to the mix, such as eggs, vegetables, etc. since the size difference is larger. i.e. you don't end up with 50% egg, 50% noodle. The Kimchi flavour is also acceptable, but not as good. I don't think I've ever actually tried the Neoguri.
My alternatives to this would be
Which is on the more expensive side, as well as cumbersome as the packaging can show. There are two servings per bag which leaves you with an open bag if you're not going to eat both at once. They are very thin noodles, and come with a flavoured oil package. Lobster is the best flavour.
Nissin's Demae Ramen
Had this a lot when I was young. It's been quite a long time since I've had it though. The sesame flavour is a bit bland, but goes well with added vegetables. Something about the sesame oil that having it repeatedly makes me not like it. Beef is too strong and salty, and I dislike it for that reason. I can't remember what the tonkatsu was like. I think the only other available flavour here is seafood, which I don't like. I would like to try the spicy to compare with Shin Ramyun though.
Tonight, I decided to splurge on myself and tried the "Black Shin Ramyun" in a cup, which is shown in the center of the picture above. I sadly do not know where to purchase the full packages. It is marketed as a "premium" instant ramen, which costs double the price of the regular Shin Ramyun (which is around $0.85 if I recall correctly). I'll start by saying I made the mistake of cooking it with the microwave because I couldn't find my kettle, which was probably in my parent's room. This resulted in a slightly distracting smell of burned paper as the edges of the bottom of the cup (but not inside) were slightly charred.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the cup was the smell of mushrooms. There were slices of dried mushroom in the cup and they were easily detectable. This is unlike the regular package, where the dried vegetable package contains mostly scallions with tiny pieces of diced shiitake that are completely lost after boiling. Inside were two separate packages of soup base. One was the spicy soup mix, and the other was the thick beef (and apparently anchovy, and I don't know what anchovy tastes like) soup base. Despite the larger volume of mix, the actual sodium content is lower compared to the regular brand. It was also noticeable in the taste as well, where the salt content wasn't as strong, but a more flavourful aroma and thicker texture was in the soup. The noodles themselves were more firm than the packages I'm used to, despite being made in a cup, which was surprising. The difference was noticeable compared to other cup and bowl ramen I've had recently. They were fully cooked, and didn't absorb too much water as I tried to confirm that nothing was on fire since my microwave is apparently too strong. I spent a good 15ish minutes enjoying them while I watched a show, and they were fantastic. Despite the long amount of time I took to eat, they didn't end up being too soggy, and the solid cup kept my hands from burning at the start while my tongue and the bottom rim of the cup weren't so lucky, and they managed to remain nice and warm throughout the meal which is surprising given the size of the cup itself.
It was a very life changing experience, and quite possibly the highlight of my life so far. I feel as if I have found new meaning in existing and it was well worth the $1.99, plus tax.
What is your favourite instant ramen and why? How has it changed your life?